What makes a good nurse?

  1. 0
    So another really vague and general questions to people who are nurses:

    What kind of person should become one? I know you need to get a university degree or college diploma and pass the exam and you are in but what kind of a person should look into being a nurse?

    What are some "traits" or personal characteristics that a good nurse should or would have? What kinds of people should not become a nurse?

    What are some practical skills that every nurse should have in order to do a good job?


    Thanks for all replies in advance!


    T123G123

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  2. 14 Comments...

  3. 6
    So another really vague and general questions to people who are nurses:

    What kind of person should become one? I know you need to get a university degree or college diploma and pass the exam and you are in but what kind of a person should look into being a nurse?

    I don't think any particular person should become a nurse. I have worked alongside many great nurses who were all different from each other.


    What are some "traits" or personal characteristics that a good nurse should or would have? What kinds of people should not become a nurse?

    Good communication skills-You have to be able to work as a part of a team, communicate with each other, have to communicate with other members of the health team such as docs, dieticians, counsellors etc.

    Patient advocacy-We are the patients advocate. In my area the OR the patient is asleep, ventilated, paralysed. It's our responsibility to advocate for their dignity, to make sure they don't suffer any harm from poor positioning etc.

    To be able to accept responsibility and admit your shortcomings. I have seen many nurses just blame everyone but themselves when things go wrong. This backfires on them because well when your an RN you are held responsible and accountable for everything you do. You have to be able to take the responsibility that comes with the job.

    The skill to recognise when other staff are not coping and to offer them support when needed.

    Assertiveness-There are unfortunately some staff (docs, other nurses) who may talk down to you, treat you like dirt. I think a good nurse is able to be assertive, without being aggressive.

    Leadership skills-sometimes your the one in charge and you have to be able to prioritise and delegate tasks so the job gets done.

    To me a good nurse is able to teach and support students and new grads.

    To be able to work under stressful conditions. But saying this I believe a good nurse knows when enough is enough, to be able to advocate for the unit when there is bad staffing etc which leads to high stress levels.

    What are some practical skills that every nurse should have in order to do a good job?

    Math-for drug calculations
    Good Handwriting-for documentation
    Typing-for computerised documentation, being a touch typist has helped me immensly. Also helped me through nursing school for writing assignments etc.
    Common sense-A lot of decisions really are based on common sense I believe.


    Thanks for all replies in advance!
    ann4997, nurse grace RN, penelopelp, and 3 others like this.
  4. 3
    Hmmmm...that's a easy one! Im the best nurse I can be when Im on vacation!:tbsk:
  5. 0
    Thanks for the detailed response, Scrubby! Souofme, I'm not yet a nurse and am working in a different profession but I can relate...

    To be a nurse, do you have to be good in chemistry? I struggled with it in high school though I did good in Math.
  6. 0
    I was in a BSN program, and had to take 2 full semesters of chemistry. Most schools have a tutoring program, which can be helpful. My motto was, "Pass it, and move on". I got the grade I needed to keep going, and didn't worry about perfect scores. Actually, I had a much better time with chemistry in college than I did in H.S., which I attribute to better instructors. I don't know if the ADN programs require as much chemistry.(?).
  7. 0
    It takes all kinds...I don't think that there's any one particular type of person who makes a good nurse. There's only been two nurses I've worked with in my whole career thus far who embodied all the traits of a "perfect" nurse in my eyes. One of them used to be a nun, the other raised five or six boys; I think those experiences prepared them for nursing in ways that nursing school never could.

    IMO, a "perfect" nurse would have never ending patience, an unlimited supply of compassion, a backbone made of adamantium, be able to suffer fools gladly, never loose their cool, have an encyclopedic knowledge base and the ability to be the best teacher you've ever seen, be able to gracefully manage other staff, be a real team player, and be able to run a code by themselves with a hand tied behind their back.

    Obviously, none of us can measure up to that! So what you can do is take the parts that you do well at and work to excel there, and take the parts you're not so good at and work to improve them. For me personally, I think I have a pretty good knowledge base and enjoy teaching others, so I seek out opportunities to help my coworkers and over the years have gotten to the point that it's not unusual for people to come to me and ask "hey, have you ever heard of this?" However, I tend to run a little short on patience with some kinds of patients, so I rely on my coworkers to sometimes remind me to take a deep breath before I go into some rooms...it's a constant struggle sometimes, but I recognize that I need to work on it and am doing so.

    A lot of people will tell you that if you're just there for the paycheck, you won't make a good nurse. I've seen this, but I've also seen people who are able to be good nurses who claim to just be there for the paycheck. Honestly, if you don't have the personality to enjoy nursing on some level, you won't stay in it for long.

    Most of the practical skills you need you'll learn by experience. Time management is very important, but something that you really can't learn until you're out on your own. Always remember to be respectful to everyone, because it takes everyone to keep the facility running, from the maintenance guys to the CEO.
  8. 0
    I think to be a good nurse you need to genuinely like people and working with all kinds of them. I think you need excellent communication and diplomacy skills, a deep desire to learn and a curious mind, a high level of tolerance for differing lifestyles and beliefs, the ability to be assertive and delegate, the ability to learn from your mistakes, the ability to ask others for help when you need to, and a large capacity for compassion.
  9. 0
    COMPASSION!! What can you do to help your patient feel better? To get well? Nursing is all about care and you can not provide care without compassion!!
  10. 0
    Has to be a people-oriented! so if you a loner or dont like to be involve with people dont be a nurse. Nursing is about caring among other thing.
  11. 0
    Really, I think if you are going into nursing for the right reasons......namely a passion....a passion that will drive you, all else will fall into place.

    Sciences were my worst subjects behind math, but I made it through. And trust me, Nursing is heavy in sciences and math! I think they were my worst subjects pre nursing due to lack of understanding. Now, I get it and it all fits together.

    Best of luck


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